Animal Signs and Totems: What Are They Telling You?
Have you ever wondered why a particular animal has crossed your path, or do you find the same animal showing up over and over again? Animals can tell us a number of things, depending on what we are doing at the moment.
Animals as Messengers
When an unusual animal catches your attention, such as a deer, a hawk, a possum, a fox, or another creature that somehow manages to show up in an urban/suburban environment, take a moment to ask yourself: What am I thinking right now? What is going on in my life right now? Is there a message I need to understand?
Are you thinking about something significant such as a charting a new direction in your life, cutting relationship ties, starting a new career, or making a big move? The animal that shows up may be confirming that you are making the right choice. Conversely, the animal may be suggesting you need to think a little harder about the decision you are about to make.
One of my go to resources to gain understanding regarding animals that have crossed my path is the book, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.
When a raven showed up in my backyard over several days and began talking to me repeatedly from a low branch, I realized he represented something more than a casual visit by a neighborhood bird. According to Andrews, “With raven, human and animal spirits intermingle and become as one.”
I took the meaning a step further and asked myself: What does the raven want me to see beyond the physical realm? What the raven did was open my eyes to something – a cloud – that was hovering low in the backyard. I noticed that the cloud that hovered was tied to a nearby spirit. That cloud was the young man’s addiction of choice: heroin.
Look Up, Look Down, Look Around You
In the past few weeks, I’ve seen quite a few eagles. These visits began following a trip to a house just north of Gainesville, Georgia. That day, I instinctively looked up to see a bald eagle and hawk flying in a circle above the house. Since that time, I’ve seen golden eagles fly in a circle high above my house, and in the last few days, a line of golden eagles flew east over my house – in metro Atlanta – with one eagle swooping towards the earth before joining the group.
Worth noting: Native Americans use eagle feathers during healing ceremonies and for shape shifting, Ted Andrews writes. “Both the bald and the golden eagle have come to symbolize heroic nobility and divine spirit. These eagles are the messengers from heaven and are the embodiment of the spirit of the sun.”
By researching animal meanings, you can gain context to determine the messages you need to hear about things that are going on in your life right now.
Animal Totems and You
Are there certain animals that appear to cross your path time and again? The animal could be a totem or animal guide. Animal totems, also called spirit guides or power animals, can change over time, depending on your path or your needs.
“Much of the process of identifying your spirit animal is paying attention to both your past and your present. It is a process of developing your inner knowledge and spiritual understanding,” according to LegendsofAmerica.com.
For a quick look at the Native American symbolism for your spirit totem visit: https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/animal-symbols.htm.
Take it a step further, if the frequency of the animal increases, it may be putting you on alert to keep your eyes open or to be more aware of changes that may be occurring around you.
Talking to Animals
So is the animal that shows up frequently in your life a messenger or a spirit guide? A messenger guide, according to manataka.org, comes into your life then leaves after delivering the message. A shadow animal addresses your fears during a time of great stress. A journey animal shows up when you are shifting the course of your life, and a life animal guide, or spirit guide, reflects your “inner-spiritual self.”
So, what do you do once you have determined one of your spirit animals or spirit insects (butterflies count!) has come to visit? Learn about the animal and its behavior and patterns and determine how those patterns relate to your own life, then look at things from the animal’s point of view if possible. For example, the hawk can be seen as the messenger of the daytime. He has the ability to fly high and see the larger view below him. The message of the hawk may be to see life, or your current situation, from the higher view, or to look at your life or situation from a different point of view.
When your spirit animal shows up in your life, give him the respect he is due, thank him for the visit, clear your mind, and ask what information he needs to share with you, then listen with all of your senses. For more information on working with your animal spirit guide visit: https://www.manataka.org/page291.html#TALK TO THE ANIMALS
As a healer of Native American heritage, I have the ability to connect with a lot of different animals – both wild and domestic. Some animals, particularly dogs and birds, are attune to the gift of healing and say hello or ask for help with a physical ailment. Sometimes, they ask me to communicate on their behalf with their human companion. If you have an interest in communicating with your pets, or are concerned with the behavior your pet is exhibiting, contact me for an appointment to sit down with you and your pet and conduct a “pet reading.” While not all pets are willing to talk, there may be an opportunity to gain greater understanding that may help you work with your pet on another level.